He Leaves His Face in the Funeral Car

Arleen Paré

He Leaves His Face in the Funeral Car is elegiac, lyrical, ironic; a series of reflections, recollections; a collection about relationships—to family, clocks, water, trees, ungulates, endings—recognizing that not all relationships are straightforward: a mother’s secret false teeth, a teakettle riddled with bullet holes, pears and small knives. To leave a face in the funeral car is to fall out of time, to fall into history, to ponder the meanings of dust, the quiet records of suicide. This is poetry that covers a broad range, wide and changing, the strangeness of everyday life buoyed by the solace of language, the pleasure of song. Each word in its right place, each poem reflecting beyond surface meaning.

“In the case of this new book, Paré’s poetry holds nothing less than the entire state of being, in constant beautiful and frustrating creation and decay.”

–Amy Reiswig, Focus magazine

“Observations are unflinching.”

–Anne Burke, Stanza

“‘These are the Trials of Water’ is possibly Paré’s most amazing poem to date. It begs to be recited like all the necessary poetry in the world.”

— Catherine Owen, Canadian Literature

Finalist for the City of Victoria Butler Prize